Castle Town Dandelion
by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Castle Town Dandelion ?
This week's episode of Castle Town Dandelion is fluffy and forgettable, but a fun time while it lasts. If you like watching cute girls acting cute, you'll have plenty of warm fuzzies during episode 7, which focuses on four of the Sakurada sisters in their daily lives.
The first half, “Worrywart King,” is about how Dad is hesitant to leave Kanade, Akane, and Shiori unsupervised while he's on a business trip (and the rest of the family isn't around for reasons that haven't been explained). He wants to post guards, but Kanade has a good point: “I doubt anybody would want to provoke this den full of people with superpowers.” Yeah Dad, have you forgotten what this entire show is about?
Akane is sick with a fever, so Shiori and Kanade bestow soup and kisses on her to help her get better in a voyeur-friendly display of sisterly love. (For the record, I have two sisters, and for as much as we love each other, we're not this free with kisses.) This skit is less about plot and more about creating an atmosphere of familial warmth. While superpowers are threatened, they're all but forgotten—until Kanade actually needs hers. As usual, I wish we'd see more of Shiori's power. For all its mundanity though, this half had a few jokes I found funny enough.
The second half, “Secret Idol,” focuses on 10-year-old Hikari's double life as a newbie idol. Since she ages herself up to a middle school body, nobody recognizes her, and this creates a dynamic we haven't seen with any of the other royal siblings' interactions: dislike. Hikari is touchy-feely and affectionate, and her rival idol, Sachiko, isn't having any of it. Sachiko thinks Hikari coasts on her talents and doesn't take her training seriously, and she's right. It's great to see somebody call Hikari out, and it's great for Hikari too, because as a princess, it's unlikely that anyone has really ever critiqued her before. The siblings are extremely privileged, and it's interesting to see how they're viewed without the lens of royalty getting in the way. Other than that partially deep lesson, this is really about watching cute girls wear cute clothes and bond with plenty of hugging and declarations of rivalry and friendship.
I can't say I'm not enjoying Castle Town Dandelion. But I can't say this episode is going to leave an impression in the grander scheme of things. All of the things that Castle Town Dandelion does half-heartedly—science fiction and fantasy, fanservice, and slice of life—other shows are able to be completely devoted to. In short, I'd like for this show to follow Hikari's example, getting more serious about story and coasting less on its characters' moe charms.
Castle Town Dandelion is currently streaming on Funimation.
Lauren writes about anime and journalism at Otaku Journalist.
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